By Nicholas Cheung-Solow
This interview was originally published in March 2017 in the school newspaper.
I met up with Principal Schoeman at the red tile area during lunch where he was supervising students. We had planned the interview for a long time and we finally got around to doing it. We sat down in the hallway, set up the mic and we started the interview.
I started off by inquiring about Mr. Schoeman’s first name, Tai-Sun, which his parents found from a Chinese book of names. According to Mr. Schoeman, his name means “peace” and “gentleness.” Like most of us, he was born right here in San Francisco at what use to be called French Hospital on Geary Boulevard which is now Kaiser Permanente. His year of birth was 1969 which is, according to him, a “long time ago”. He and his family then spent some time in Hawaii and Colorado before finally settling in Sonoma, California.
Mr. Schoeman majored in History of the Americas at Long Beach State University. He then went to Pepperdine University for a Master’s in Education. Finally, he finished his academic career with an Administrative Master’s Degree from UC Berkeley.
After his years of being in college, he worked as a teacher at El Dorado Elementary School in San Francisco. He taught for eight years and later became the principal at El Dorado for seven years. After that, he moved to A.P. Giannini (APG) to be the assistant principal, a job he held for four years. In the fall of 2016, he became the principal of APG.
I asked him what subject he would teach if he taught at APG. He said he would teach Language Arts because he thought it helps develop important skills. All throughout his life, Language Arts stood out to him because it is significant to communicating and learning. Finally, I asked him what the best thing about APG is and what is one thing he’d like to change about APG. Mr. Schoeman’s favorite aspect of our school is its diversity of students and staff. He thought it was nice that we could all be understanding of each other. One thing he’d like to change about APG is the building. He’d like to see the building updated because, since students and staff are here all day long, he wants the environment to be a comfortable place for working and learning.
It was quite interesting talking to the principal. We always think of him as the person who runs the school. Not many people know about Mr. Schoeman as a person. After the interview, I thanked Mr. Schoeman for taking the time to talk with me. As I left the interview, to go outside, it was raining heavily. I thought to myself, “I’m sure glad I was inside.”
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